A Navy destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal.
The destroyer was taking on water, but it is now under control.
It is reported that seven sailors are missing, however, they have yet to search the damaged areas of the ship.
NBC News reports:
Seven U.S. sailors are unaccounted for after a Navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, early Saturday local time, the Navy said.
The USS Fitzgerald, a 505-foot destroyer, collided with a Philippine container vessel at approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday local time (1:30 p.m. ET Friday), about 56 nautical miles off Yokosuka, the U.S. 7th Fleet said.
The ship, which had experienced some flooding after the collision, was tugged back to Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo, early Saturday.
Meanwhile search and rescue efforts by U.S. and Japanese aircraft and boats were underway in the area where the vessels collided.
The U.S. Navy said damaged areas of the ship will also be searched for the seven unaccounted-for sailors after the ship is safely docked.
“Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the Sailors,” Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a statement. “We thank our Japanese partners for their assistance.”
The Fitzgerald’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was injured and transported by helicopter to the U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka and is reportedly in stable condition, the Fleet said. Two others were also injured and flown by helicopter to the naval hospital for lacerations and bruises, the Fleet said.
The White House said President Donald Trump was briefed on the situation.
An Alabama woman, Rita Schrimsher of Athens, said on Twitter that her grandson was on the ship and is safe. She said she spoke on Facetime with her 23-year-old grandson Jackson Schrimsher and that “it could have been worse so we’re grateful,” The Associated Press reported.
The Fleet said earlier that some flooding was reported on the Fitzgerald, but it remained under its own power although propulsion was limited. The Fleet said shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday Tokyo time that flooding had been stabilized.
— 7th Fleet (@US7thFleet) June 17, 2017
The Fitzgerald suffered damage to its starboard side above and below the waterline, the Fleet said earlier. A U.S. Navy official said after the collision that the bridge was damaged and communication with the ship was limited and difficult.
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